England v Argentina live: Score and updates from Rugby World Cup as George Ford makes the difference

George Ford’s drop goals have England in front – Getty Images/Dan Mullan

09:57 PM BST

78 min ENG 27 ARG 10

There may be a final flurry here though from Argentina.

They move the ball into England’s 22 and dart around the ruck with numbers.

England look dead on their feet – Maro Itoje was actually crawling at one point – and Argentina go over to score.

A valiant effort from England, but defending with a man down for the entire match is starting to bear its toll.

09:55 PM BST

The stats don’t lie…

Argentina have committed 13 handling errors in the game.

09:53 PM BST

75 min ENG 27 ARG 3

England’s kick chase has been exemplary today, and they prove it yet again.

Argentina spill a George Ford kick thanks to pressure from Freddie Steward, and Danny Care chases through to pounce on his man.

England follow up with the pack and Argentina are penalised for sealing off.

George opts for the three again and nails it. With that, he takes his biggest ever points haul for England. Just in time too, as he is substituted for Marcus Smith.

George Ford scores 27 points - his biggest ever points haul for England

George Ford scores 27 points – his biggest ever points haul for England – PA/Mike Egerton

09:50 PM BST

72 min ENG 24 ARG 3

England give away a rare penalty at the scrum with Stewart penalised at tight-head for dropping his bind.

Argentina lineout outside England’s 22. They are penalised yet again – this is for one of their players stepping out of the lineout and then rejoining the maul. It looks like it may be veteran hooker Agustin Creevy at fault.

England clear and kick tennis ensues.

09:47 PM BST

72 min ENG 24 ARG 3

It may not be a penalty, but it’s a free-kick for England. This time for an early shove from Los Pumas.

George Ford sends a spiral bomb into the stratosphere but it is well-fielded by the Italian replacement full-back.

Argentina knock-on – it’s getting repetitive now – and England have a scrum just inside the opposition half.

09:45 PM BST

70 min ENG 24 ARG 3

Argentina knock-on again – the count must be up into the tens now? – and England have another scrum on their own 10-metre line.

They will hope to earn another penalty from this.

09:44 PM BST

68 min ENG 24 ARG 3

Argentina look to play on the England 22. The defensive rush is good from Borthwick’s side, but they fall off their tackles for the first time, allowing Argentina up to to inside the five-metre line.

But England hold it up! And again, they pump the air like they’ve won a World Cup final. You have to admire the positivity when it’s proving this effective.

09:41 PM BST

66 min ENG 24 ARG 3

England exit well through a Danny Care box kick, and Argentina have a lineout on the England 10-metre line.

09:40 PM BST

66 min ENG 24 ARG 3

George Ford slots another penalty, bringing his personal tally for the night to 24.

It may not be the prettiest performance from England, but this scoreboard pressure is how test matches at this level are won, especially at this level.

That said, I should keep quiet as there is still 15 minutes to go, in which time plenty can change. England must keep this up!

09:38 PM BST

64 min ENG 21 ARG 3

Another scrum penalty for England.

It’s all slaps on the back for Will Stewart this time, and the front row maintain bragging rights over Los Pumas.

George Ford then steps up and drives a laser beam kick downfield which more or less bisects the corner flag.

Off the lineout, the referee tells Argentina the ball is lost at the ruck but they look to play it anyway, giving England yet another penalty.

09:34 PM BST

63 min ENG 21 ARG 3

England are kicking as much as they ever have, but they are doing so to sublime effect.

Each time they hoist the ball into the air, it seems to result in an Argentina knock-on or the ball falling back their direction.

Time for a drinks break, which will be followed by an Argentina scrum on half-way.

09:32 PM BST

60 min ENG 21 ARG 3

Breakdown penalty for England.

Manu Tuilagi is having an inspired defensive game, shutting Argentina’s attack down and forcing them into making mistakes.

Ben Earl gets over the ball after a Tuilagi tackle and England set up another long-range kick from Daily.

Daily slices though and Argentina clear.

09:29 PM BST

57 min ENG 21 ARG 3

Another England penalty.

Ill-discipline is killing Argentina. This time a player knocks on and his teammate looks to play it from an offside position.

George Ford lines up another penalty and nudges it through the sticks.

09:27 PM BST

57 min ENG 18 ARG 3

England barrel through another Argentina scrum and are unlucky not to win a penalty.

England land a spiral bomb which Argentina clear, and then George Ford makes what must be his first mistake of the night, putting the ball straight out.

But again, England disrupt at the lineout to win it back.

England's Courtney Lawes (right) disrupts the lineout

England’s Courtney Lawes (right) disrupts the lineout – AFP/Clement Mahoudeau

09:26 PM BST

52 min ENG 18 ARG 3

“Manu Tuilagi destroyer of worlds” rings out from the commentary team as the England centre puts in a hit for the highlight reels.

Santiago Chocobares catches the ball and is swiftly folded in in half like a sheet of origami. Echoes of Brian Lima there.

England then win a penalty at the next breakdown.

Kevin Sinfield will be smiling with glee at his side’s defensive effort.

George Ford steps up with his metronomic boot and hits another three points.

09:22 PM BST

Just how rare are those Ford drop goals?

Ford has equalled England’s record annual tally since then in just 40 minutes tonight. In fact, England had scored just 11 in 13 years until Ford took aim.

Ford's record-equalling display

Ford’s record-equalling display

09:20 PM BST

49 min ENG 15 ARG 3

Good intent from England off the lineout.

Mitchell goes blind and makes a half-break before looking to release Johnny May.

It’s the right option, but the offload doesn’t quite go to hand. England fans will welcome seeing their side play with some attacking zip.

09:18 PM BST

47 min ENG 15 ARG 3

But again Argentina knock-on.

That’s seven handling errors for Argentina so far. Their imprecision is killing them.

England win a penalty at the scrum and Dan Cole emerges: smirk on his face and a tuft of grass sprouting from his head.

09:16 PM BST

47 min ENG 15 ARG 3

England knock-on after a cute short restart from Los Pumas.

Argentina have a scrum with an overlap on the England 10.

09:16 PM BST

45 min ENG 15 ARG 3

Earl picks and goes blind and again tries the kick. It must be a tactic England have trialed, because there aren’t many No 8’s who would go for two kicks in one match without expecting the hairdryer treatment from their coach.

This one doesn’t come off either but rebounds to Lawes.

England move in-field and Argentina are penalised at the breakdown.

Ford takes the three to keep the scoreboard ticking over.

09:13 PM BST

43 min ENG 12 ARG 3

England continue their tactic of the high-bomb, and it pays dividends once again.

Carreras jumps over Johnny May and knocks on. Bit tough given that he dropped it because May was in his landing zone. But them’s the breaks. England fans won’t question it.

England have a scrum on the opposition 10-metre line.

09:10 PM BST

40 min ENG 12 ARG 3

We’re back under way here.

Argentina show a bit of punch early on with a half-break. But they offload and knock-on, giving England a scrum around halfway.

09:09 PM BST

Sir Clive Woodward: “not a red card in any shape or form”

“To even try to tackle him there is a mistake by both players [he means the Argentina yellow, too].

I feel so sorry for Curry as there is no way I can see that being a red card, and I think the game is moving in very dangerous areas where that’s not a malicious tackle and is a sheer accident. Yellow fine as there was a clash of heads, but it’s not a red card in any shape or form.”

Former England captain Lawrence Dallaglio described the head collision  as a rugby incident and also expressed his surprise at the red-card decision.

09:03 PM BST

England at their best with their backs against the wall

Funnily enough a lot of England’s best performances have come when they are down in numbers from their display in Dublin after Freddie Steward was sent off to coming from behind to beat Wales with 12 men.

There is something about being a pit of adversity that seems to bring the best out of them, see also rescuing a draw from being 25-6 down against New Zealand. Maybe the fact they are up against it relieves the pressure.

England’s tactics in this half have not been especially pretty, the way they butchered a five on two would have horrified a school team but they have at least found a way of making it effective.

At the heart of everything has been Courtney Lawes, who always comes into his own on these big pressure occasions despite appearing to be 60 per cent strapping.

One factor that could come into play in the second half is Argentina’s 6-2 bench split, especially with England a forward short.

09:01 PM BST

Half-time: ENG 12 ARG 3

England have a scrum on half-way and will want to get the ball out and into touch safely, which they do. Half-time.

After a red card within the opening three minutes, against all odds, England have produced their best performance in recent memory. Remarkable really.

England’s most experienced players have stepped up, with Ford putting in a tour de force performance off the boot and Courtney Lawes’ efforts at the breakdown getting England out of trouble just when they need it.

But the backs-against-the-wall sprit seems to have fired up the whole team. Now they must keep this up for another 40 minutes.

Argentina meanwhile must pull themselves together for the second half if they are to get back into this game. They have not been at the races in the first 40 despite having a one-man advantage, and Michael Cheika will be laying down the law to his side during the break.

08:52 PM BST

Organisational chaos almost overshadows World Cup opener

Dozens of England supporters missed the kick-off of their opening World Cup against Argentina with yet more organisational chaos blighting another major sporting event in France.

Supporters on social media stated that it took more than an hour to get through security at the main gate at the Stade de Marseille with the queue stretching at least 100 metres with just 30 minutes until kick-off. Some fans were appealing directly to World Rugby to delay kick off but the game kicked off with empty seats throughout the 67,000 capacity stadium. By the time they got in they would have missed England flanker Tom Curry get sent off after just two minutes.

While fans complained about being part of a crush, there were no reports of any violence as there was for the 2022 Champions League final in which Liverpool supporters were teargassed and pepper sprayed by the police.

Again, however, questions will be asked of how supporters were left outside the stadium for a big event when they had been queueing for over an hour. There were tens of thousands of supporters around the stadium more than three hours before kick-off. Part of the problem was that there were several rounds of security with fans having to show tickets at one gate and then snake through metal barriers to have their bags searched.

World Rugby issued edicts barring fans bringing food and drink to any stadium so stewards spent a long time confiscating water bottles. While temperatures had dipped on a scorching hot day in Marseille, it was still 22 degrees with supporters forced to buy water within the stadium.

There are reports that some of the gates were not opened until 8pm, leaving just an hour for thousands of supporters to file through. World Rugby are aware of the incident but have not commented.

There was no such problem at the same stadium for the 2022 Champions Cup final between Leinster and La Rochelle.

08:51 PM BST

36 min ENG 12 ARG 3

And it’s another drop goal from George Ford.

Admittedly,  this one is from directly in front, but it’s brilliant game management from the fly-half.

It may have been slightly presumptuous to compare the England 10 to Wilkinson after just one effort. But with three to his name now inside the first half, the spirit of 2003 is starting to build.

The England players and fans are reacting like their team has just won the whole tournament!

08:48 PM BST

35 min ENG 9 ARG 3

Steward is taken out in the air and George Ford kicks to touch.

It’s not just any kick though, the man is on fire, and he lands one deep inside the Argentina 22.

England have good front-foot ball here. And with the way they are playing, I wouldn’t put more points beyond them.

08:47 PM BST

Have your say

08:46 PM BST

33 min ENG 9 ARG 3

Argentina want in on the action here and go for a drop goal of their own.

The ball falls wide and short, without the precision of George Ford, and the crowd love it.

08:43 PM BST


Another drop goal from the England fly-half, and this one is a whopper!

The Leciester 10 nails one from inside his own half. If that former one was Wilkinson, this one was more like Francois Steyn territory.

With their backs against the wall, England are showing there’s still plenty of fight in them here.

08:42 PM BST

Elliot Daly misses long-range effort

The Saracens fullback opts for the points from nearly 60 metres out, giving Bofelli a run for his money.

IT’s a great effort, but falls just short.

08:40 PM BST


George Ford drops into the pocket and slots one of his trademark drop goals.

A fine effort from right of the uprights. It may not be the World Cup final, but there will be echoes of Wilkinson for some England fans, especially with the side backed into a corner in this match.

08:38 PM BST

24 min ENG 3 ARG 3

England continue to hang kicks up on the Argentina 22.

It’s a tactic they have come under criticism for in recent weeks, but in these sweaty conditions, with England a man down, it is possibly England’s best option for gaining territory.

Carreras kicks straight out and England have front-foot ball on the opposition 22.

08:36 PM BST

23 min ENG 3 ARG 3

Penalty England!

Outstanding defence from England and captain Courtney Lawes.

The powerful blind-side latches onto the ball, encouraging the Argentine prop Francisco Gomez Kodela to go straight off his feet.

England clear to half-way.

08:34 PM BST

22 min ENG 3 ARG 3

Argentina look to drive from the lineout before Montoya breaks away for one of his rumbling carries.

Argentina pepper England around the ruck before Thomas Gallo reaches over the line.

The referee has decreed, however, that there was a knock-on in the build-up.

08:31 PM BST

21 min ENG 3 ARG 3

England make a rare effort to pass out to their winger.

But some brilliant work on the floor from Matera steals the ball back for Los Pumas.

This is followed by a superb Argentina grubber that roles into the corner for a 50-22.

England re-group for a water break, but they will then face a defensive lineout just outside their own five-metre line.

08:29 PM BST

19 min ENG 3 ARG 3

Carreras is let off the hook.

Unlike Tom Curry’s head collision, it has been ruled by the eye in the sky that Carreras’ indiscretion was only worthy of a yellow, and he returns to the field amidst England fans’ boos.

08:28 PM BST

18 min ENG 3 ARG 3

A solid scrum this time from England gives Earl the chance to surge off the back.

Alex Mitchell then pulls of an unwieldly offload to keep the ball alive.

The ball goes through the hand for the first time by England with an overlap on the right. But Earl has a rush of blood to the head and opts to grubber through rather than passing to Johnny May.

The ball goes into touch and Argentina clear.

08:24 PM BST

16 min ENG 3 ARG 3

An early engage gives a free-kick to Argentina.

Los Pumas kick goes too far and Steward calls the mark. He then pumps it back up-field to the Argentina 10-metre line.

08:23 PM BST

14 min ENG 3 ARG 3

After a high-bomb from Ford that is slightly lamely chased by Steward, Argentina knock on.

Cue the first scrum of the game. This will be a good early test for both sides.

08:21 PM BST

11 min ENG 3 ARG 3

We are 12 minutes into this game and it really hasn’t taken any shape whatsoever so far.

The usual kick tennis, England showing good pluck at the breakdown, but neither side managing to piece together more than three or four phases.

08:19 PM BST

Tom Curry red card

England lose Tom Curry after the decision is reviewed.

The flanker left the field just 2 minutes and 59 seconds into England’s World Cup. It’s hard to conceive of a worse possible start for Steve Borthwick’s side…

08:17 PM BST

9 min ENG 3 ARG 3

Carreras flies through for the charge down, but he follows through in the air and his hip appears to smash in George Ford’s head region.

It looks like a case of over-commitment rather than anything cynical. But as Ugo Monye wisely put it, it’s crazy how these small moments can leave an indelible mark on the match – or words to that effect.

Not often you see an Argentina game where Labinini is not first in the book for his side..

George Ford slots the penalty to get England off the mark.

08:15 PM BST

9 min ENG 0 ARG 3

The crowd erupts, presumably there are plenty of English in the stadium, as George Ford is taken out late after putting in an up-and-under.

A needless challenge by Argentina that offers England a lifeline.

And it’s time for another review…

08:14 PM BST

6 min ENG 0 ARG 3

Boffelli lines up another one. He nailed the first one from 57 metres. This one look similarly mammoth at around 55m.

Fortunately for England, however, the kick had the legs, but not quite the accuracy.

England 22-metre drop out.

08:12 PM BST

Fans stuck outside the stadium

There was understandable frustration among the fans who arrived at the venue an hour before kick-off, only to find a swelling stand-still. Only with around 10 minutes to go until the start did the queues begin to move. The situation mirrored that of Ireland’s game against Romania earlier in the day in Bordeaux, putting organisers under scrutiny.

08:11 PM BST

4 min ENG 0 ARG 3

Emiliano Boffelli makes no mistake with the penalty, and Argentina take the lead.

England will now have to dig in to manage this ten minute period.

08:10 PM BST

Tom Curry yellow card

Not good news for England. Nor is it for Tom Curry, who has been sent off within three minutes in his first England game since February.

Curry goes to the bunker, and the decision will now be reviewed.

What’s important is whether there is mitigation. The fact that Curry has wrapped and there is a change of angle will play in his favour. But that said, it’s a difficult one to call!

08:08 PM BST

3 min ENG 0 ARG 0

An early TMO review here with Tom Curry the potential culprit.

Juan Cruz Mallia lands after catching the ball and impacts head-on-head with Tom Curry, drawing blood from the Argentine player.

blood on his shirt after Curry collision

blood on his shirt after Curry collision – Reuters/Benoit Tessier

08:06 PM BST

2 min ENG 0 ARG 0

England gather a box-kick from Argentina and kick back themselves to half-way.

Carreras puts in a dangerous chip, but it’s well-fielded by England.

The ball is offloaded to Steward who wallops one up-field. The ball lands just short of Los Pumas’ 22, and it’s an Argentina throw.

08:04 PM BST

1 min ENG 0 ARG 0

And we’re off! Argentina in white and blue get us underway.

England, wearing their navy away jerseys, gather well and clear to half-way.

08:02 PM BST

Time for the English national anthem

God Save the King echoes around the stadium.

There seems to be quite some delay between the church-choir sound of the performers and the dulcet tones of the likes of Joe Marler…

Let’s hope the timing is better in the match than the anthems.

The tracksuits are off, and the match is about to get under way. This is it!

07:59 PM BST

The teams are in the tunnel

Courtney Lawes leads England out into the Stade de Marseille on the occasion of his 101st cap.

We’re only minutes away from kick-off. But first, time for the anthems!

07:56 PM BST

England’s squad: Steve Borthwick’s rolls the dice

There were several surprise inclusions in Steve Borthwick’s squad to face Argentina, with Alex Mitchell and Jonny May named in the starting VX. Neither Mitchell nor May were in the initial 33-man squad, but they were recalled following injuries to Jack van Poortvliet and Anthony Watson.

Mitchell has been brought in to add dynamism to England’s ailing attack. However, his inclusion means that England’s most-capped player Ben Youngs misses out.

Borthwick is also without captain Owen Farrell and his only No 8 specialist Billy Vunipola due to suspensions. In their place, George Ford slots in at fly-half, as he has done throughout England’s warm-up fixtures, while Bean Earl deputises at the back of the scrum. Courtney Lawes will continue to captain the team.

Tom Curry is brought back into the fold at open-side for his first minutes of the Borthwick era following a series of injuries. Meanwhile, veteran prop Dan Cole has been given the nod at tighthead with Kyle Sinckler not involved.

Speaking about his selection ahead of veterans Danny Care and Ben Youngs, Mitchell said: “It’s been a bit of a rollercoaster – out of the squad, then back in and now getting a shot against Argentina.

“As a kid it’s a thing you dream of, playing at the top of the game, and the World Cup is that.”

The 26-year-old added: “To start the first World Cup game is a massive honour – my family are massively proud of me. I’m really looking forward to it and hopefully we can get a result.”

07:38 PM BST

Fan chaos outside the stadium…

Sadly looks like thousands of people are going to miss kick off with the queue to get into the main stand at least 100 deep just 30 mins before kick off.

The view from inside the stadium as masses of fans gather outside the gates

The view from inside the stadium as masses of fans gather outside the gates

07:31 PM BST

And also for Argentina

Argentina team guide

Argentina team guide

07:27 PM BST

Our experts’ view of England’s record and prospects

England team guide

England team guide

07:25 PM BST

Have your say on the result

If you can’t choose between an English cake-walk to victory or an Argentine tango in Marseille, check out what Telegraph columnist Brian Moore predicted here.

07:20 PM BST

Having a punt?

First take a look at these Rugby World Cup free bets and betting offers.

07:17 PM BST

…and the Argentina team

15. Juan Cruz Mallia
14. Emiliano Boffelli
13. Lucio Cinti
12. Santiago Chocobares
11. Mateo Carreras
10. Santiago Carreras
9. Gonzalo Bertranou
1. Thomas Gallo
2. Julian Montoya (captain)
3. Francisco Gomez Kodela
4. Matias Alemanno
5. Tomas Lavanini
6. Pablo Matera
7. Marcos Kremer
8. Juan Martin Gonzalez


16. Agustin Creevy
17. Joel Sclavi
18. Eduardo Bello
19. Guido Petti
20. Pedro Rubiolo
21. Rodrigo Bruni
22. Lautaro Bazan Velez
23. Matias Moroni

07:16 PM BST

England team to play Argentina

15. Freddie Steward (Leicester Tigers, 26 caps) 
14. Jonny May (Gloucester Rugby, 73 caps) 
13. Joe Marchant (Stade Francais, 19 caps) 
12. Manu Tuilagi (Sale Sharks, 53 caps)
11. Elliot Daly (Saracens, 59 caps) 
10. George Ford – vice-captain (Sale Sharks, 85 caps) 
9. Alex Mitchell (Northampton Saints, 6 caps) 
1. Ellis Genge – vice-captain (Bristol Bears, 52 caps) 
2. Jamie George (Saracens, 79 caps) 
3. Dan Cole (Leicester Tigers, 102 caps) 
4. Maro Itoje (Saracens, 70 caps) 
5. Ollie Chessum (Leicester Tigers, 11 caps) 
6. Courtney Lawes – captain (Northampton Saints, 100 caps) 
7. Tom Curry (Sale Sharks, 45 caps)
8. Ben Earl (Saracens, 18 caps)


16. Theo Dan (Saracens, 3 caps) 
17. Joe Marler (Harlequins, 82 caps) 
18. Will Stuart (Bath Rugby, 29 caps) 
19. George Martin (Leicester Tigers, 3 caps) 
20. Lewis Ludlam (Northampton Saints, 21 caps) 
21. Danny Care (Harlequins, 90 caps)   
22. Marcus Smith (Harlequins, 24 caps) 
23. Ollie Lawrence (Bath Rugby, 14 caps)

07:07 PM BST

Moment of truth for England

Hello and welcome to Telegraph Sport’s coverage of tonight’s World Cup clash between England and Argentina at the Stade de Marseille.

Expectations of England going into the World Cup have never been so low. Since Steve Borthwick took over as head coach in February, England have struggled. The side have won just two of their nine fixtures in 2023 and suffered their first ever defeat at the hands of Fiji on the eve of the tournament.

The string of poor results has caused fractures in the support base, with England failing to sell out Twickenham in the World Cup warm-up fixtures, and players in the camp taking to social media to lash out at fans. But none of this will matter if England can put together a winning performance this evening.

Standing in their way is a proud and well-drilled Argentina side. Los Pumas are ranked two places higher than England in the world standings and are slight favourites for the first time in a meeting between the two nations.

At the last World Cup, England sealed their place in the quarter-finals by beating Argentina 39-10 in Tokyo in their third pool match, running in six tries against a side who had Tomas Lavanini sent off early for an illegal tackle on Owen Farrell.

But under the tutelage of Australian coach Michael Cheika, Argentina are a much improved outfit who last year claimed a famous first away win in New Zealand before beating England 30-29 at Twickenham in the Autumn Internationals –  the last time these two sides met.

Despite the general mood music surrounding England’s chances, the squad have been upbeat since their arrival in France, and there is a sense among the players that they are on the cusp of finally realising their potential.

“We know who we are. We know the type of players we have. We know the quality of coaches we have,” said second-row Maro Itoje.

“Yes we haven’t in recent times played as well as we can, but we know the potential of this group.

“And when you know the potential of this group and you know the attitude of the players and the coaches, it can only fill you with confidence.

“There is a strong feeling and belief within the group now that things can change very quickly and the best is yet to come.”

Having previously led the Wallabies to the 2015 World Cup final, where they lost to New Zealand, and a quarter-final defeat to England four years later, Los Pumas coach said he is relishing a third go with Argentina and that it was his ‘back to basic’ approach that has been behind their upward trajectory.

“When I took over [in March 2022], I knew exactly how I would go about it,” said Cheika. “It was about going back to the fundamental principles of Argentine rugby – the scrum, maul and lineout. That gives us a base and an identity.

“Over time we have begun to play with more possession, sometimes successfully, sometimes not, but we have kept on improving. At times the consistency has not been there, but it is a work in progress, and will be even through this tournament.

“It has been great to work with these players, they are really receptive to new ideas.”

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